The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
It’s being given to people aged 80 and over, people who live or work in care homes, health and social care workers at high risk.
The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Read the latest JCVI advice on priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccination on GOV.UK
Fylde Coast sites
Clinics have now been launched at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a number of community sites run by GP practices within ‘primary care networks’. Primary care networks are groups of practices that work together in a local area and each has nominated a single site from which to carry out vaccinations. These clinics have been aimed primarily at those aged over 80. Networks that have already launched vaccinations clinics are:
- Lytham St Annes (Ansdell Medical Centre, Fernbank Surgery, Holland House Surgery, Old Links Surgery, Parcliffe Medical Centre, Poplar House Surgery)
- Blackpool Central (Bloomfield Medical Centre, Layton Medical Centre, Marton Medical Centre, Newton Drive Health Centre, Waterloo Medical Centre)
- Wyre and Fylde Rural Extended Network (Over Wyre Medical Centre, Garstang Medical Practice, Great Eccleston Health Centre, Ash Tree House Surgery, Kirkham Health Centre)
- Wyre Integrated Network (Beechwood Surgery, Lockwood Avenue Surgery, Queensway Medical Centre, The Village Practice)
- Blackpool Central West (Adelaide Street Surgery, Elizabeth Street Surgery, South King Street Medical, St Paul’s Medical Centre)
- Blackpool South (Abbey Dale Medical Centre, Arnold Medical Centre, Highfield Surgery, Stonyhill Medical Practice)
- Torrentum (Thornton Practice, Cleveleys Group Practice, Crescent Surgery)
The remaining networks – Fleetwood and Blackpool North – will launch soon.
Please be assured that if you are over 80 and have not been contacted yet, or have a friend or relative who is still waiting, they will be offered a vaccine soon. All practices have drawn up lists of these patients, however the Pfizer vaccine comes in packs of 975, so it is not possible to vaccinate everyone at once and so some people have to wait slightly longer for the next batch to be delivered.
Vaccination clinics in the community are being run by a designated practice for each area. These practices are organising the administering of vaccinations to patients of all practices in their local area. This means when you are invited for your vaccination it may not be your own GP practice that contacts you, but the local vaccinations service.
The new Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccine is being directed initially to people who are housebound or living in care homes, but with more vaccines now becoming available we are confident more people will be vaccinated quickly. Residents and staff at many care homes on the Fylde Coast have now been vaccinated.
We would like to thank you for your patience at this time and ask that you do not contact local NHS services to book a vaccine. We will be in touch as soon as we possibly can. Thank you.
Information on the vaccine is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk).
See our highlights page for pictures and videos of people being vaccinated on the Fylde Coast.
Large vaccination centres
Now that more doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available, the NHS is able to open more vaccination services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, including large Vaccination Centres and, in the near future, pharmacies.
People who are eligible, live near these new vaccination services and who haven’t already been vaccinated by their local GP led vaccination services or hospital hub, will receive letters from the NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service, telling them how they can book their appointment.
The NHS is rolling out additional services quickly, but it remains important that the public don’t try to book or go to these services before they receive their booking letter.
If you receive a letter from the national NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service and you book an appointment, please make sure you attend it. The sooner you get your vaccination, when eligible, the earlier you will be protected from Covid-19.
Vaccination centres offer an important additional option for people who are eligible, and we expect more sites to be available across Lancashire and South Cumbria in the coming days and weeks.
Please don’t delay having your vaccine, but if you can’t travel to a vaccination centre or you would rather wait for an appointment closer to home, you can choose to do that, and your local GP-led service will be in touch soon to offer an alternative.
In Lancashire and South Cumbria, we expect to put in place additional Vaccination Centres over the coming weeks in Central Lancashire, Fylde Coast, Morecambe Bay and Pennine Lancashire. As soon as these are ready and available they will appear on the national NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Booking Service.
We are continuing to vaccinate patients over the age of 80 years of age and are inviting people in according to the criteria and prioritisation set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
Like the rest of the NHS we are working to offer vaccines to everyone in the top priority groups by the middle of February.
Please do not contact us if you haven’t received an invite yet. We are very busy at the moment and doing so could prevent a patient who needs our help from getting through. We will contact you when it is the right time for you to book your appointment.
Delaying the second dose
Following a review of clinical evidence and latest public health data, the JCVI and the UK Chief Medical Officers have updated guidance for the NHS on the second dose for both vaccines, meaning they can be safely offered up to 12 weeks apart.
We fully understand that some people who have had the first dose are both keen and anxious to get their second as soon as possible to get maximum protection from the virus, and that the delay is not what you were expecting.
To explain, the NHS is following new guidance from the Government’s expert advisors which says that prioritising a first dose for as many people as possible will save more lives.
This is because even with just one dose the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been estimated to offer 89% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given and the Oxford/AstraZeneca has been estimated to offer 74% effectiveness from two weeks after it is given.
As the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam, has said: “The evidence clearly shows vaccinated individuals get almost complete protection after the first dose. Simply put, every time we vaccinate someone a second time, we are not vaccinating someone else for the first time. It means we are missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the chances of the most vulnerable people getting severely ill from Covid-19. If a family has two elderly grandparents and there are two vaccines available, it is better to give both 89 per cent than to give one 95 per cent protection with two quick doses, and the other grandparent no protection at all.”
The Government’s ambition, if supplies allow, is to have offered vaccines to the most vulnerable 13 million people by the middle of February.
Therefore, as a key part of the national effort to protect as many people in at-risk groups as quickly as possible, booster doses will now be delivered within 12 weeks of the first dose.
We will be in touch to reschedule your second dose as soon as possible.
It is important to note that even when you have received your vaccine, you must continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and wearing a mask, as well as the additional measures in place in your area.